What Am I Reading – Chapter Seventeen

Hi Everybody!!

As promised from last time, I have a nearly new batch of titles that I can’t wait to show you, so let’s get started!

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella is about a woman with a complicated family, a handsome guy, and an IOU that changes everything. Fixie Farr likes to fix things. That’s her nature, even if it means picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own when running the family housewares store. Then one day at a coffee shop, a handsome stranger asks her to watch his laptop. Not only does she agree, but she also saves it from certain disaster. It turns out that the stranger – Sebastian – is an investment manager. He scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie would never claim that. Would she? And then, her childhood crush Ryan comes back in her life, and she tries to convince Sebastian to give him a job. As a result, Fixie and Sebastian pass a series of IOUs to each other. It gets to the point where she is torn between her family and the life she wants to live. Will she take a stand and grab the life and love she really wants?

Before going into this novel, the only thing that I knew was that the author Sophie Kinsella had written Confessions of a Shopaholic. I never read that book, but from what I’m reading so far, I get the feeling that she likes to write quirky female protagonists with a “fatal” flaw. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s only something that I’ve noticed.

In fact, I’m enjoying the light read so far. I like Fixie and her OCD-like tendency to fix everything in sight even though she’s a hot mess. I want her to think of herself more, especially when other people like her self-centered siblings Jake and Nicole walk all over her. It feels like a Cinderella story, but with a less than perfect main character. But then again, one can say that a lot of romance and chick-lit are basically Cinderella tales. I look forward to seeing if Fixie gets to live the life and have the love that she really wants.

Now let’s go a little darker for our second title…

The Suspect by Fiona Barton is the third installment of the Kate Waters series. After two teenagers disappear during their gap year in Thailand, their families are thrown into the international spotlight. As a reporter, Kate Waters tries to get to the story first. As she digs into it more, the more she thinks of her son who’s been traveling for the last two years. All will soon discover that no matter how far away they are, danger can lie closer to home than one might think.

Those who’ve followed this website long enough will be familiar with the running gag of me making fun of Fiona Barton’s titles to her novel. This is no exception as this one is the most basic. However, the more I read it, the more clear it is of who the suspect is, so I’ll give credit to her for making the title personal as well as more specific than I initially thought.

I’ve also mentioned how predictable Barton’s work has been in the past, and this novel is no different. I figured out who the suspect was within the first audiobook disc.

Speaking of the audiobook, I’m listening to that right now. Susan Duerden – an actress who’s best known for playing Carole Littleton on Lost and has recorded many books on tape – plays Waters. Mandy Williams previously narrated as her, so I’m confused as to why the role was recast. She did a great job portraying her with determination and empathy in The Widow and The Child, whereas Duerden feels little more tired, but maybe that’s to signify how much Kate has aged. I really don’t know.

Fiona Hardingham takes on the role of Alex – one of the missing teenagers. She had previously acted in roles such as a News Anchor in Godzilla: King of the Monsters and an Arrival Video Narrator in Pokemon Detective Pikachu as well as narrated several other audiobooks. I like how she strikes a balance between a juvenile and a mature voice for a teenager who plans so much in advance, and yet everything goes wrong the moment she and her friend land in Thailand. Too bad there’s not a whole lot for Hardingham to do beside read Alex’s Facebook posts.

Katharine Lee McEwan is back and plays Leslie – Alex’s mother. She’s fine, but it’s similar role to Angela in The Child. To be fair, Leslie and Angela are similar characters as both are heartbroken for their missing children.

Another actor who’s back is Nicholas Guy Smith, and he voices Detective Bob Sparkes. It’s nice to hear Smith inject frustration and sadness into Sparkes since that character hasn’t been really been present since The Widow. In this book, Sparkes’s wife is going through chemotherapy while he helps Kate with the investigation whenever he can. I hope he has more to do, so I can listen to Smith’s voice more.

And now, let’s go to the third and final book of this latest installment…

Miracle Creek by Angie Kim follows a murder trial after a hyperbaric chamber in a small town in Virginia explodes and kills two people including an autistic child. A showdown unfolds among various characters who may or may not be keeping secrets in regards to what happened.

I just started this novel a few days ago, and it got me hooked right from the start. The moment where the author describes the explosion and how the characters Young Yoo and her daughter Mary witness it shook me. I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of the trial pans out and who the culprit is.

We have now come to the end of the seventeenth chapter of “What Am I Reading?”

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Published by emilyblakowski

I work at two public libraries in southeast Michigan, and I facilitate a book club for one of them. I also hold a Bachelor's degree in History and Theatre from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI; a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI; and a Graduate Certificate in Archival Administration also from Wayne. In my downtime, I love hanging out with friends, listening to music (like classic rock and K-pop), and watching shows like "Monty Python's Flying Circus"!

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